Cocoa Bean Shells: What can you do with them?

Out of curiosity, what can be done with cocoa beans shells after roasting, cracking, and winnowing?

We have quite a bit (few 100kgs..) and we are looking into creative ways to use them ... Any idea around the chocolate globe?


Originally posted by Antonino Allegra.

@Adam G.
12/23/11 01:04:22PM

Amano Chocolate suggests garden mulch: "Today, cocoa bean husk is sold or even given away as garden mulch. For this, the husk is highly sought after. The husk is full of nutrients and has high concentrations of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous - all important plant nutrients. Its strong fibers help to break up the soil, and thus it is particularly useful in soils with lots of clay. When used to cover the soil, it helps to keep the moisture in and makes a beautiful ground cover. The best part, of course, is that it makes gardens smell of chocolate. What could be better than that?"

Others are using it to create tea.

Removing the Chaff, Winnowing Cocoa Beans. Part 2 - Amano Chocolate

@antonino allegra
12/23/11 01:10:26PM

Hi Adam,

thanks a lot! we were looking into this option, but i have read that is very dangerous if you have a dog (theobromine poisoning)....

But making tea seems quite a cool thing!

We are also making body products!


@Maria6
12/28/11 06:59:47AM

Do you know if it's possible to use the roasted shells to make tea, without any other special treatment ?

Thank you !


@Denise Brennan
12/30/11 11:01:10PM

I have a friend who does pit-fire pottery. She usescacao husk from my bean-to-bar chocolate makingin the fire pit to color various kinds of bowls, vessels, etc and it gives a beautiful look to whatever is fired. Husk is good for garden mulch but not if there are dogs around - could make them ill. I keep thinking I'll try making handmade paper that includes bits of husk, but haven't gotten around to it yet.


@Maria6
12/31/11 02:45:09AM

very interesting ! thank you Denise. Paper is another option, we have to try.

I wish you all the best for the new year :-)


@Keith Ayoob
01/03/12 12:59:20PM

Many of the nurseries near my home sell it in large bags -- 20 or 30 pounds or so -- for mulch, but Antonino is right. It can be deadly for dogs, and since I have two, it's out of the question. It does smell great however. You go by the pile of bags and it smells of cocoa. The tea thing sounds interesting.


@Rebecca Warner
03/01/14 10:00:55AM

Hi Nino,

Sorry, I expect my response is far too late (2 years is quite late!), but after a recent trip to Peru I discovered chocolate tea which is absolutely delicious. It's also full of theobromine (no caffeine) so has wonderful properties but is calorie free.

I wondered where you sourced your cocoa bean shells? I am looking myself for a source of high quality cocoa shells suitable for consumption (ideally organic) so would really appreciate any info.

Warm regards

Becca


@Clay Gordon
03/01/14 12:55:28PM

Becca -

Try getting close to one of the craft chocolate makers in the UK -- Duffy, Willie, etc., and see they will offer them to you

(edited)

Luker here in Colombia uses the husk in cookie manufacturing. They say it works for increasing dietary fiber content of their product and providing a slight chocolate flavor. Still, i don´t know about it´s safety in terms of ochratoxin and heavy metal content which could be of concern.

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HI! late answer but useful. I was co-founder of Bruto Bean to bar and I used the husk to make cold brew which was amazing. It was a hot sale item. I made some for testing at the store and people loved. The brew was made during 24 hs with cold water and then filtered. It is a nice beverage for hot weather with only ice and good to mix for drinks with rhum or wiskey, great for mixology.

@Vivika - Did you ever get the shell tested ... for heavy metal contamination (cadmium, lead), mycotoxins or other pathogens, or the presence of pesticides/herbicides?

Using shells as an ingredient without knowing what's in them can pose serious health risks.

I just created a box made from paper infused with cocoa bean shell. We did a small production run to see if the paper was going to give us production problems and it ran fine. We will be offering for sale Jan 2018, FYI Custom sizes are available. In addition, I am in the market for Cocoa bean shell if you have too sell please contact me.

I have heard of people using shell in packaging before. Have you tested to make sure that the paper is food contact safe if the chocolate rests directly on the paper? In the case of another manufacturer they found that it was necessary to have a barrier in between the product and the paper.

As part of the program we do plan on including a corn starch based barrier bag that is self sealing.

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